B-142172, MARCH 9, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 624

B-142172: Mar 9, 1960

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BECAUSE OF ITS UNDERSTANDING THAT THOSE LOTS WERE APPLICABLE TO BIDDERS AT DIFFERENT PORTS WHO DID NOT HAVE DRYDOCKING FACILITIES. WHICH UNDERSTANDING WAS NOT AN UNREASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE AMBIGUOUS INVITATION NEED NOT BE REGARDED AS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND DOES NOT REQUIRE AWARD AT A HIGHER COST TO A BIDDER WHOSE BID EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF REAL INTENT OF THE INVITATION IS DEFECTIVE IN THE SAME WAY AS THE LOW BID. IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE FAILURE AFFECTED THE RELATIVE STANDING OF THE LOW BIDDER OR WAS PREJUDICIAL TO THE OTHER BIDDERS. 1960: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 1. BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 24. THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE LOW BID SUBMITTED BY PUGET SOUND BRIDGE AND DRYDOCK COMPANY MAY BE ACCEPTED AS RESPONSIVE.

B-142172, MARCH 9, 1960, 39 COMP. GEN. 624

BIDS - SPECIFICATIONS - MISINTERPRETATION - COMBINATION BIDS A LOW COMBINATION BID FOR BOTH DRYDOCKING AND REPAIRS FOR THE CONVERSION OF A HOSPITAL SHIP SUBMITTED BY A BIDDER WHO DID NOT BID ON SEVERAL OF THE SPECIFIC LOTS AS REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION, BECAUSE OF ITS UNDERSTANDING THAT THOSE LOTS WERE APPLICABLE TO BIDDERS AT DIFFERENT PORTS WHO DID NOT HAVE DRYDOCKING FACILITIES, WHICH UNDERSTANDING WAS NOT AN UNREASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE AMBIGUOUS INVITATION NEED NOT BE REGARDED AS NONRESPONSIVE TO THE INVITATION AND DOES NOT REQUIRE AWARD AT A HIGHER COST TO A BIDDER WHOSE BID EVALUATED ON THE BASIS OF REAL INTENT OF THE INVITATION IS DEFECTIVE IN THE SAME WAY AS THE LOW BID, IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE FAILURE AFFECTED THE RELATIVE STANDING OF THE LOW BIDDER OR WAS PREJUDICIAL TO THE OTHER BIDDERS.

TO ADMIRAL R. L. MOORE, JR., DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, MARCH 9, 1960:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 1, 1960, REQUESTING OUR DECISION AS TO AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BID NO. 201-60, ISSUED BY THE ASSISTANT INDUSTRIAL MANAGER, SAN FRANCISCO NAVAL SHIPYARD FOR DRYDOCKING, REPAIRS, AND ALTERATIONS TO THE HOSPITAL SHIP USS CONSOLATION. BIDS WERE OPENED ON FEBRUARY 24, 1960, AND THE QUESTION PRESENTED IS WHETHER THE LOW BID SUBMITTED BY PUGET SOUND BRIDGE AND DRYDOCK COMPANY MAY BE ACCEPTED AS RESPONSIVE.

IN THE INVITATION THE WORK WAS SCHEDULED AS SIX LOTS, NUMBERED 1 TO 6. EACH LOT WAS FURTHER SUBDIVIDED INTO "A" AND "B," "A" BEING WITHOUT, AND "B" WITH, PREPARATION FOR TOWING. LOT 1 COVERED THE DRYDOCKING AND REPAIRS, AND LOT 6 THE ENTIRE WORK OF DRYDOCKING, REPAIRS, AND ALTERATIONS, INCLUDING TOPSIDE WORK. LOTS 2, 3, 4, AND 5 EACH COVERED IDENTICAL WORK. "REPAIRS AND ALTERATIONS ( TOPSIDE)," BUT WERE DIFFERENTIATED BY THE HEADINGS, AS FOLLOWS:

LOT NUMBER 2--- VESSEL AT SAN FRANCISCO

LOT NUMBER 3--- VESSEL AT SEATTLE

LOT NUMBER 4--- VESSEL AT PORTLAND

LOT NUMBER 5--- VESSEL AT LONG BEACH

LOTS 1 AND 6 HAD NO HEADING EXCEPT THE LOT NUMBER.

FOLLOWING THE LISTING OF THESE LOTS, THE INVITATION CONTAINED " NOTES" NUMBERED 1 THROUGH 19. THOSE MATERIAL TO THE QUESTION UNDER CONSIDERATION WERE AS FOLLOWS:

NOTES: 1. (1) PREPARATION OF VESSEL FOR TOW SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA DURING THE PERIOD 15 MARCH 1960 TO 25 MARCH 1960.

(2) THE GOVERNMENT WILL TOW VESSEL FROM SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA TO DRYDOCK CONTRACTOR'S YARD ON APPROXIMATELY 25 MARCH 1960 AND THENCE TO THE TOPSIDE CONTRACTOR'S YARD ABOUT 18 APRIL 1960. TOWING TIMES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN PREPARING BIDS.

2. ALL WORK WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE PREPARATION FOR TOW IS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED AT CONTRACTOR'S PLANT. THE PREPARATION FOR TOW CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED AT SOME PIER IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA.

3. THE USS CONSOLATION (AH-15) WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AT MARE ISLAND NAVAL SHIPYARD.

12. THE GOVERNMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE AWARD TO ANY BIDDER/S) ON THE BASIS OF LOTS 1 (A), 1 (B), 2 (A), 3 (A), 3 (B), 4 (A), 4 (B), 5 (A), 5 (B), 6 (A), AND 6 (B), AS MAY BE IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT PRICE AND ALL OTHER FEATURES CONSIDERED. BIDS SUBMITTED FOR LOTS 6 (A) AND/OR 6 (B) TOTAL JOB WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY BIDS FOR LOTS 1 (A), 2 (A), 3 (A), 4 (A) AND 5 (A), EXCEPT THAT COMPLETION OF THE CERTIFICATION ATTACHED HERETO WILL BE ACCEPTED IN LIEU OF A BID ON LOT 1 (A) DRYDOCK.

THE CERTIFICATION REFERRED TO WAS TO THE EFFECT THAT THE BIDDER DID NOT HAVE DRYDOCK FACILITIES.

IN ADDITION, PARAGRAPH 11 OF THE " NOTES" PROVIDED THAT INTERPORT DIFFERENTIALS IN SPECIFIC AMOUNTS WOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION IN EVALUATION OF CONTRACTORS' BIDS FOR EACH LOT IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE SUCCESSFUL BIDDER OR BIDDERS. THE AMOUNTS OF INTERPORT DIFFERENTIALS FOR LOT 3--- TOPSIDE--- VESSEL AT SEATTLE WERE STATED AS FOLLOWS:

AREA INTERPORT DIFFERENTIAL

SEATTLE--------------------------------------------$32,412.00

PORTLAND------------------------------------------- 43,475.00

SAN FRANCISCO------------------------------------- 32,412.00

LONG BEACH---------------------------------------- 51,485.00

SAN DIEGO----------------------------------------- 70,015.00

THE DIFFERENTIAL AMOUNTS WERE SET UP IN THE SAME FORM FOR EACH OTHER LOT, 1 THROUGH 6.

BIDS WERE RECEIVED FROM SEVEN BIDDERS, ALL BUT TWO OF WHICH BID ON BOTH THE DRYDOCKING AND TOPSIDE WORK. THREE OF THE FIVE BIDDERS ON THE ENTIRE JOB, AND BOTH OF THE BIDDERS ON THE TOPSIDE WORK ALONE, WERE LOCATED IN SAN FRANCISCO. THE LOWEST BID OVERALL WAS THAT OF THE PUGET SOUND COMPANY. THE NEXT LOWEST OVERALL PRICE WOULD RESULT FROM THE COMBINATION OF BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY'S BID ON LOT 1 AND THAT OF TRIPLE A MACHINE SHOP, INC., ON LOT 2.

THE GROUND FOR THE QUESTION SUBMITTED BY YOUR LETTER, AS WELL AS FOR A PROTEST WHICH HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM THE TRIPLE A MACHINE SHOP, IS THAT THE PUGET SOUND FIRM'S BID INCLUDED BIDS ONLY ON LOT 1, LOT 3, AND LOT 6, AND, THEREFORE, DID NOT COMPLY WITH THE LITERAL LANGUAGE OF PARAGRAPH 12 OF THE INVITATION AND IS NOT RESPONSIVE THERETO. IN ADDITION, THE TRIPLE A PROTEST CHARGES THAT THE PUGET SOUND BID ON LOT 3, BEING IN THE SAME AMOUNT AS ITS BID ON LOT 6, WAS NOT REALISTIC AND LEFT OPEN TO THAT BIDDER THE OPPORTUNITY, IF THE TOTAL OF ITS BIDS ON LOTS 1 AND 3 WERE LOWER THAN ANY OTHER COMBINATION, TO CLAIM THAT ITS BID ON LOT 6 WAS OBVIOUSLY ERRONEOUS.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU EXPLAIN THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE DIVISION OF THE WORK INTO THE SIX SEPARATE LOTS, AND OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 12, WAS TO OBTAIN MAXIMUM COMPETITION. YOU POINT OUT THAT IF BIDS ARE PERMITTED FOR THE ENTIRE WORK ALONE, THOSE YARDS HAVING AVAILABLE DRYDOCK FACILITIES CAN EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATE COMPETITION ON THE TOPSIDE WORK FROM FIRMS WHICH ARE FULLY CAPABLE OF DOING THAT PART OF THE WORK BUT HAVE INADEQUATE DRYDOCK FACILITIES. THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF DIVIDING THE WORK INTO SEPARATE ITEMS EMBRACING PORTIONS OF THE WORK WHICH DO AND DO NOT REQUIRE DRYDOCK FACILITIES, AND DENYING CONSIDERATION TO COMBINATION BIDS UNLESS THE BIDDERS ALSO BID EACH PORTION SEPARATELY, IS TO ENSURE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL YARDS INTERESTED IN THE TOPSIDE WORK TO BID ON THAT PORTION OF THE WORK WITHOUT BEING PREJUDICED BY THEIR INABILITY TO HANDLE THE WORK REQUIRING DRYDOCKING.

SO FAR AS THAT PURPOSE IS CONCERNED, WE THINK THAT IT IS SUBSTANTIALLY MET BY THE PUGET SOUND BID. ITS BID ON LOT 1--- WHICH APPEARS TO BE IN NO WAY OUT OF LINE WITH OTHER SEPARATE BIDS ON THAT ITEM--- COULD UNQUESTIONABLY BE ACCEPTED IN COMBINATION WITH ANY OTHER BIDDER'S BID ON THE TOPSIDE WORK. THE FACT THAT ITS BID ON LOT 6 IN EFFECT OFFERS THE DRYDOCKING WORK FREE IF IT IS AWARDED THE ENTIRE WORK DOES NOT IN ANY WAY AFFECT THE RESPONSIVENESS OF ITS BID ON LOT 1, NOR DO WE FEEL THAT CONSTITUTES AN IMPROPER EFFORT TO OBTAIN ANY UNFAIR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OVER BIDDERS WITHOUT DRYDOCK FACILITIES, SINCE THEY ARE IN NO WAY HINDERED IN OFFERING THEIR BEST PRICES FOR THE TOPSIDE WORK AND HAVING THEM EVALUATED EQUALLY WITH ALL OTHER BIDS TO THE END THAT THE GOVERNMENT MAY ACCEPT THE BID OR BIDS MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO IT.

NO BASIS HAS BEEN SUGGESTED FOR SUSPECTING THAT THE PUGET SOUND BID WAS DELIBERATELY DRAWN WITH A VIEW TO THE POSSIBILITY OF ALLEGING ERROR IN THE LOT 6 BID IF IT SHOULD APPEAR TO BE IN THAT BIDDER'S INTEREST TO DO SO. CONSIDERING THE DIFFERENTIALS TO BE ADDED TO THE BIDS OF NON- SAN FRANCISCO BIDDERS UNDER PARAGRAPH 11; THE FACT THAT THE ONLY OTHER NONLOCAL BIDDER QUOTED LOT 6 AT A PRICE EVEN LESS THAN ITS PRICES FOR THE TOPSIDE WORK ALONE; AND THE FURTHER FACT THAT TWO OF THE THREE SAN FRANCISCO YARDS BIDDING ON LOT 6 OFFERED REDUCTIONS EQUIVALENT TO APPROXIMATELY 30 AND 50 PERCENT OF THEIR RESPECTIVE BIDS ON LOT 1, WE DOUBT THAT SUCH A CLAIM OF ERROR BASED SOLELY ON THE FIGURES INVOLVED WOULD BE GIVEN SERIOUS CONSIDERATION.

THE SECONDARY PURPOSE OF THE INVITATION REQUIREMENTS, PARTICULARLY AS TO LOTS 2, 3, 4, AND 5, IS EXPLAINED BY YOU AS FOLLOWS:

THIS PARTICULAR INVITATION HAD AN ADDITIONAL COMPLEXITY. THE SHIP IS IN SAN FRANCISCO AND THE YARDS THAT WERE TO BE SOLICITED INCLUDED FIRMS ALONG THE ENTIRE PACIFIC COAST--- IN SEATTLE, PORTLAND, SAN FRANCISCO, LONG BEACH, AND SAN DIEGO. SINCE THE SHIP IS INACTIVE AND WILL HAVE TO BE TOWED, THE ASSISTANT INDUSTRIAL MANAGER RECOGNIZED THAT IN ORDER TO PROPERLY EVALUATE THE BIDS AND DETERMINE WHICH REPRESENTED THE LOWEST OVERALL COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT OF TOWING THE SHIP TO EACH OF THE VARIOUS PORTS WHERE THE WORK MIGHT BE ACCOMPLISHED. SPECIFICALLY, IT WOULD BE NECESSARY TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE COST OF TOWING THE SHIP FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO THE PORT WHERE IT WOULD BE DRYDOCKED, FROM THERE TO THE PORT WHERE THE TOPSIDE WORK WOULD BE PERFORMED, AND FROM THERE BACK TO SAN FRANCISCO.

THE ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS INVITATION AND THE TYPICAL INVITATION FOR SPLIT BIDS IS THE BREAKDOWN OF WHAT IS USUALLY THE SINGLE TOPSIDE LOT INTO FOUR SEPARATE LOTS. AS HAVE BEEN NOTED, THIS BREAKDOWN DOES NOT REFLECT ANY DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER IN THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED. EACH OF THE FOUR TOPSIDE LOTS CALLS FOR THE IDENTICAL WORK TO BE PERFORMED BY THE FIRMS BIDDING ON THE TOPSIDE WORK. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THE PORT FROM WHICH THE SHIP MAY HAVE TO BE TOWED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO GET TO THE TOPSIDE CONTRACTOR'S YARD. THIS DIFFERENCE RESULTS IN A DIFFERENCE IN FORESEEABLE COSTS, THE COMPUTATION OF WHICH IS COMPLICATED BY THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS THAT A SPLIT AWARD MIGHT TAKE. BY BREAKING THE LOTS DOWN AS THE ASSISTANT INDUSTRIAL MANAGER HAS DONE, THE COMPUTATION OF THE FORESEEABLE COSTS IS GREATLY FACILITATED FOR BOTH THE BIDDERS AND THE GOVERNMENT. EACH BIDDER ON THE DRYDOCK WORK, THE TOPSIDE WORK, AND THE TOTAL JOB IS IN THE POSITION OF KNOWING IN ADVANCE THE EXACT AMOUNT OF FORESEEABLE COSTS IN EVERY POSSIBLE CASE. THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL PURPOSE OF THE BREAKDOWN.

THE BREAKDOWN HAS AN ADDITIONAL INCIDENTAL EFFECT. THE PERIOD OF AVAILABILITY FOR THE TOPSIDE WORK, IT WILL BE NOTED, COMMENCES IN EACH CASE ON 18 APRIL, WHICH IS THE SAME DAY AS THE COMPLETION OF THE DRYDOCK WORK. THERE IS NO INTERVAL TO ALLOW FOR THE TIME REQUIRED TO TOW THE SHIP FROM THE DRYDOCK YARD TO THE TOPSIDE YARD. ACCORDINGLY, THE DATE ON WHICH THE TOPSIDE WORK CAN ACTUALLY BEGIN DEPENDS ON THE LENGTH OF THE TOW, THE LONGER THE TOW THE LATER THE DATE AND THE SHORTER THE TIME AVAILABLE FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF THE TOPSIDE WORK. THIS FACT IS CALLED TO THE BIDDERS' ATTENTION BY NOTE (2) ON PAGE 2 OF THE INVITATION. ALTHOUGH THE EFFECT OF THE LONGEST TOW IS RELATIVELY SMALL IN COMPARISON WITH THE/TOTAL TIME AVAILABLE, THE BREAKDOWN INTO SEPARATE LOTS PERMITS ANY POSSIBLE IMPACT ON COSTS TO BE REFLECTED IN A DIFFERENT PRICE FOR EACH LOT. AS WILL BE NOTED FROM AN EXAMINATION OF THE BIDS, SEVERAL BIDDERS DID IN FACT VARY THEIR PRICES FOR THE DIFFERENT TOPSIDE LOTS. HOWEVER, AS WAS TO BE EXPECTED, THE VARIATION IN EACH CASE IS RELATIVELY SLIGHT.

LOOKING SOLELY AT THE INVITATION, WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF YOUR EXPLANATION, WE WOULD BE STRONGLY INCLINED TO VIEW THE PUGET SOUND FIRM'S INTERPRETATION AS REASONABLE. THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEADINGS OF LOTS 2, 3, 4, AND 5--- " VESSEL AT" A NAMED CITY--- CERTAINLY DOES NOT CONVEY THE SAME IMPRESSION AS " VESSEL TO BE TOWED TO YOUR YARD" FROM SUCH CITY, WHICH WOULD HAVE CORRECTLY STATED THE INTENTION AS NOW EXPLAINED. TRUE, THE BIDDER'S INTERPRETATION IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE SPECIFIC LANGUAGE OF PARAGRAPH 12 THAT BIDS ON THE ENTIRE WORK MUST BE "ACCOMPANIED BY BIDS FOR LOTS 1 (A), 2 (A), 3 (A), 4 (A), AND 5 (A); " BUT THERE IS ALSO AN APPARENT INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THIS PROVISION AND THE STATEMENT OF PARAGRAPH 2 THAT ALL WORK WILL BE PERFORMED AT THE CONTRACTOR'S YARD, IN THE ABSENCE OF A CLEAR EXPLANATION OF THE MEANING OF THE WORDS " VESSEL AT.'

THE ONLY TECHNICAL OBJECTION TO CONSIDERATION OF THE PUGET SOUND BID IS THAT BY FAILING TO BID ON LOTS 2, 4, AND 5, THAT BIDDER DEPRIVED THE GOVERNMENT OF THE OPPORTUNITY OF AWARDING IT A CONTRACT TO DO THE TOPSIDE WORK, AT ITS SEATTLE YARD, IN THE EVENT THE DRYDOCKING WORK WERE AWARDED TO A YARD AT ANY OTHER PLACE. THE BID OF THE PROTESTING BIDDER, TRIPLE A, HAS EXACTLY THE SAME EFFECT; BUT IT RELIES ON THE LITERAL LANGUAGE OF PARAGRAPH 12 AS MEANING THAT ONLY BIDDERS WHO SUBMITTED BIDS ON LOT 6 WERE SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT THEY BID ON ALL OTHER LOTS. LITERALLY, THIS MAY BE TRUE; BUT IT IS ALSO TRUE THAT A LITERAL READING RENDERS THE LANGUAGE OF THE LAST CLAUSE WHOLLY MEANINGLESS. THE COMPLETE SENTENCE SAYS THAT COMBINATION BIDS FOR BOTH THE DRYDOCKING AND THE TOPSIDE WORK WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY BIDS ON ALL OTHER LOTS, EXCEPT THAT NO BID NEED BE SUBMITTED ON LOT 1 IF THE BIDDER FURNISHES A CERTIFICATION THAT IT HAS NO FACILITIES TO DO THE DRYDOCKING WORK. OBVIOUSLY, IN THE LAST CASE THE BIDDER COULD NOT SUBMIT A BID ON LOT 6.

IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY INDICATION EITHER IN YOUR LETTER OF EXPLANATION OR IN THE INVITATION ITSELF OF ANY REASON WHY BIDDERS HAVING DRYDOCKS SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO BID ON ALL THE TOPSIDE LOTS, WHILE BIDDERS WITHOUT DRYDOCKS NEED NOT DO SO, WE ARE MOST RELUCTANT TO DEPRIVE THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BENEFIT OF A BONA FIDE LOW BID AND REQUIRE AWARD AT A HIGHER COST TO A BIDDER WHOSE BID, CONSIDERED ON THE BASIS OF THE APPARENT REAL INTENT OF THE INVITATION, IS DEFECTIVE IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF AN UNFORTUNATE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGE IN THE INVITATION.

CONSIDERING THE INVITATION AND BIDS ALONE, WE ARE BY NO MEANS SURE THAT EITHER TRIPLE A OR PUGET SOUND COULD NOT BE AWARDED A VALID CONTRACT FOR THE TOPSIDE WORK, AFTER EVALUATION ON THE BASIS STATED IN PARAGRAPH 11, REGARDLESS OF THE PLACE AT WHICH THE DRYDOCKING WAS DONE. HOWEVER, WITHOUT DECIDING THAT QUESTION, WE CONCLUDE THAT ON THE RECORD PRESENTED IN THIS CASE THE FAILURE OF THE LOW BIDDER TO BID ON LOTS 2, 4, AND 5 APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN THE RESULT OF AN HONEST AND NOT UNREASONABLE MISINTERPRETATION OF AN INVITATION WHICH WAS NOT FREE FROM AMBIGUITY. FURTHERMORE, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ASSUMING THAT PUGET SOUND'S BID ON LOT 3 WOULD HAVE BEEN ANY DIFFERENT EVEN IF IT HAD BID ON LOTS 2, 4, AND 5; AND THE AMOUNTS OF ITS BIDS ON THOSE ITEMS WOULD HAVE HAD NO EFFECT WHATEVER UPON ITS STANDING AS THE LOW BIDDER. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE CANNOT SEE THAT THE AMBIGUITY HAS RESULTED IN SUBSTANTIAL PREJUDICE TO ANY BIDDER, OR THAT IT WOULD BE IN THE INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT OR OF THE BIDDERS TO REQUIRE THE REJECTION OF ALL BIDS AND READVERTISING OF THE WORK.

YOU ARE, THEREFORE, ADVISED THAT THE BID OF THE PUGET SOUND BRIDGE AND DRYDOCK COMPANY MAY BE CONSIDERED AS RESPONSIVE.